RMS Olympic Titanic's Sister


Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Mark, both books came to the Museum in paperback as special imports, but have been pretty much snapped up! (I just put the last two on reserve for a Board member).
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Inger!

That's really great news, I find it surprising that they sold so fast! Thanks for your own efforts to acquire them.

I hope to meet you at the BTS, if you're still planning on attending.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 

Matthew Lips

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Mar 8, 2001
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Hi Mark!
You're more than welcome, because I meant every word! I have just finished "Titanic's Sister", and suffice to say that the concluding chapters make me VERY cheesed off that Olympic was scrapped. So much so that it drove me to start a thread in the "Others Ships" folder asking which scrapped or sunken ship you would choose to magically replace the Queen Mary with if she vanished overnight.

Before reading your book I would have made it a straight fight between Titanic and Normandie. Now, I'd plump for Olympic!

I look forward to reading your other book, which has now arrived but which I haven't had a chance to get stuck into (apart from a quick peek at the photographs).
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Matthew, I think I may have missed that thread. Did yu start it this morning or is it already something that's there? Of any number of ships that have gone to the breakers, I can think of several of enormous historical signifigence that I wish had been saved.
 
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Hi Jesse,

Thanks for buying the book, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for the kind words! I do think the circumstances were unfortunate -- although Olympic's 24 years in service were a long time by any standard, when we consider her sisters' demises it's sad that she did not serve a little longer. Of course, only in hindsight can we see what might have awaited her as a war career.

It's unfortunate that passenger numbers did not recover more quickly. Although Olympic's passenger numbers in early 1935 surged by some 30 percent compared to the same period in 1934, bringing her into a gross profit (but small net loss) in February 1935, had she recovered a bit more strongly I think Berengaria's future would have been brought into question sooner. I can't help thinking that the company did not quite have enough confidence in the Olympic's ability to raise her passenger carryings further, in spite of her low operating costs and undoubted good performance. As it was, the cruises scheduled for the summer of 1935 and then the round trips for the autumn and winter could well have generated a modest profit.

I appreciate your custom in buying the other book -- thanks. I hope that you enjoy it.

(As an aside, it would be interesting to see who has recently ordered copies of the Olympic class and got a reprinted version? The reprint is most easily distinguishable with the 2005 date as well as the dedication which was missing on early copies.)

For anyone interested, I should have fifty copies of each book (wishful thinking!) with me for the BTS on Saturday's sale.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
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Matthew Lips

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Michael, I started it a few weeks ago. Some kind soul moved it into the "Queen Mary" thread on the Cunard Line section of the "Other Ships and Shipwrecks" folder. If you follow what I mean!
 

Matthew Lips

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Mar 8, 2001
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Hi Mark.
I can readily accept that there were doubtless good business reasons for sending Olympic to the scrappers. Not to mention that her dismantling provided a lot of work for a great number of people at a desperate time when work was hard to come by.

Food-on-table beats sentimentality hands down any day of the week and twice on Thursdays, and nobody could have foreseen the role that she might have played in WW2 (although the storm clouds were already starting to gather over Europe when Olympic was discarded). Let's face it, despite her wonderful service, by the time of Normandie, Rex or Queen Mary she had become somewhat outdated, no matter how many times she was spruiced up and what good condition she was in.

Still, I would LOVE to trade her for the Queen Mary any time!
 
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Hi Matthew,

It's certainly a key point, and I entirely agree that the advantages Olympic brought to so many unemployed workers and their families were enormous at a time when government intervention in the economy was not as developed as it would become. Sir John Jarvis really was a 'good egg.'

Best wishes,

Mark.
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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Just had this for my birthday present, after finding it on the shelf in the Ian Allen shop in Cardiff.

So far, great stuff!
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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Yes, so far, so very good! Nice to read some detail on Old Reliable for a change, rather than her being a small prologue/footnote to the Titanic story.
 

Steve Olguin

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Mar 31, 2005
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I finally bought this book... and I must say out of my entire collection of Titanic/Olympic/Britannic books, this is one has the most new information all in one place. It is nice to see photos that correctly identify the right ship (unlike the poor editing job that was done to the book "Titanic and Her Sisters".

Well worth the 34 dollars I spent. I cannot wait til I am done reading it.
 
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Hi Mike!

I'm very pleased that you are enjoying the book -- my thanks for your kind words.

Hi Steve!

Thanks for your very kind words, I am glad that you're liking the book!
smile.gif


Best regards,

Mark.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Got this book for my birthday, accidentally forgot to post about it

and WOW

Mark this book is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Read at least 3 times this month
I really like the illustrations and photographs, the March 1908 illustration of the early Olympic compared to the Mauretania was super cool (I took a high quality picture of it, am I allowed to upload that here?) the Lusitania and Mauretania section also set up the purpose of the Olympic class quite nicely.

the pictures tie in so nicely and they are in abundance! I really like how Mark included the miles averaged during the voyage, the number of passengers, and the average speed she took. He really left no detail out!

Not surprised Oympic's lists dipped severely after her sister's disaster (Titanic). Down to 300 was dramatic! Interesting how a lot of those 300 were Third Class. Was it not widely known that Third Class suffered greatly on Titanic? She gradually improved by 1914.


Olympic's story during wartime could be a great movie, lol. She was amazingly lucky! especially getting struck by a torpedo and it didn't go off.

to hear about her incredibly successful career in the 1920s but for it to be smashed by the Great Depression was quite sad. By the end of the book where she's scrapped, you feel like you lost a good friend.

Honestly, a 12/10 Mark, an absolute must have for any Titanic enthusiast. Its so nice to have a complete history of Olympic's career, her (multiple) rise and falls. Usually she's overshadowed by Titanic, and barely mentioned in other Titanic books, if not just to use pictures of her interiors to illustrate what Titanic's would've looked like.

I 100% agree with that Cunard White Star, more so Cunard as I bet White Star knew Olympic still had some fight in her, underestimated her ability to recover and return to translatlantic service. Although I hope she wouldn't go the route of the S.S United States of Queen Mary, she might've been more preserved if she made it to the 1950s, as that's when Titanic interest, due to Walter Lord, took off. I personally think she'd be much more preserved than those two ships as she is so much more similar to Titanic. Perhaps Jim Cameron would even pitch in to help, if that happened.

Again, you did such a great job, I really want to get your Oceanic book next.

Best of luck :)
 
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Thanks for your very kind comments, Cam.

I'm really pleased you enjoyed the book and even more pleased you'd like to get the Oceanic one as well!

Twenty-four years is a relatively short period in the scheme of things but it was a remarkable time of change, starting just before the First World War and then ending a few years before the Second. It's particularly nice to focus on the 1920s and 1930s because they are a period many Titanic buffs will not have focused on.

Best wishes


Mark
 
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Kate Powell

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Thanks for your very kind comments, Cam.

I'm really pleased you enjoyed the book and even more pleased you'd like to get the Oceanic one as well!

Twenty-four years is a relatively short period in the scheme of things but it was a remarkable time of change, starting just before the First World War and then ending a few years before the Second. It's particularly nice to focus on the 1920s and 1930s because they are a period many Titanic buffs will not have focused on.

Best wishes


Mark
Hello Mark,

Just wanted to thank you for all of your time and hard work put into researching The Oceanic.

I enjoyed your book very much. Her history is covered in lots of detail, there's plenty of technical information and it was great to see the photos during construction and those of her exquisite interiors.
The advertisements and coloured postcards of her were a real treat too.
Now I have to read your other books.
 
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